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COIL/BLACK SUN PRODUCTIONS, "THE PLASTIC SPIDER THING"

Eskaton / Black Sun Productions
'The Plastic Spider Thing' is the name given to a sexual/ritual performance art piece performed by Black Sun Productions. Black Sun appears to be primarily the duo of Massimo and Pierce—two pierced, tattooed fetish models, avid Coil fans and ex-rentboys. I have never seen a performance of 'Spider Thing' in person, but from the extensive photos and video clips on the Black Sun Productions site, it looks like quite a decadent form of theater—live gay sex and bloodletting occurs in a room filled with taut plastic webbing. The sex act is turned into a sadomasochistic, predatory dance of sorts. It looks fascinating, and more than a little arousing. Massimo and Pierce have also done some on-stage interpretive nude dancing during many of Coil's recent European live shows. Now comes this new release on Threshold House, a "soundtrack" for the performance piece, constructed by Black Sun associate DraZen and consisting entirely of remixes and mutations of Coil's recorded output. I would like to report that this CD is as adventurous and perverse as its performance counterpart. However, listening to this release several times, I feel that I may be missing something. Working from a palette of colors as vivid and diverse as Coil's, I really feel that something more interesting should have resulted from a remix project such as this. The 15 tracks here completely remove rhythm and structure from Coil, and focus on long ambient, droney material. A lot of cheap "Wave Studio" effects are applied to the music, such as excessive echo, reverb, backwards masking, etc. In short, I don't think these remixes were very hard to make, and I don't think much time or care went into this. DraZen has slowed down and extended a lot of his "pet sounds" from the Coil archives, and in the process the songs have completely lost their original meaning and genius. There are some extraneous heavily delayed voices added into the mix that just seem rather annoying in this context. The best moments are when Coil's music reaches us relatively untouched, as with the "Bee Stings" sample on track six. This release is somewhat useless for Coil fans. It doesn't really work as a "party mix", and it doesn't really serve to underscore any new facets of Coil's original works. Separated from its performance context, it doesn't work at all, except as a mediocre dark ambient release that you will listen to once and then shelve.

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